Court of Appeal Orders All Sexual Abuse and Molestation Complaints Going Back 20 Years Be Turned Over
The law firms of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard of San Jose, California, and Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman of Kansas City, Missouri, are announcing that the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, is ordering USA Swimming to turn over all sexual abuse and molestation complaints dating from the past 20 years. The two law firms are representing plaintiff Jancy Thompson.
In a civil lawsuit, Thompson seeks monetary damages for the alleged molestation by USA Swimming coach Norm Havercroft. The lawsuit claims that the abuse could have been prevented by USA Swimming. The ruling denied USA Swimming’s request to halt the surrender of the documents.
“USA Swimming needs to stop concealing the identity of potential pedophiles and start protecting young swimmers,” said Allard. “Parents have a right to know the identities of those suspected of abuse and molestation so that they can take the steps necessary to keep their children safe. The more information parents have the better. They have the right to know the truth, especially when it comes to their children.”
USA Swimming Fined for Violating Court Order
The court made its first request in the fall of 2010 for USA Swimming to turn over sex abuse complaints and related documents. In response, USA Swimming produced 1,864 pages of heavily redacted documents. According to court records, USA Swimming was then fined $5,250 for violating the court order.
“Despite overwhelming evidence of sexual molestation by its coaches based on USA Swimming’s own public list of banned coaches, USA Swimming continues to engage in a campaign to evade accountability for its actions and silence the molestation victims who have filed lawsuits,” said Allard.
In her lawsuit, Thompson alleges that USA Swimming was aware that coach Norm Havercroft sexually abused swimmers. As a result, by allowing Havercroft to continue coaching, he consequently molested Thompson.
“It would be refreshing if USA Swimming spent even a fraction of the amount of time and money that it has devoted to protecting these documents on implementing measures to completely eradicate pedophiles from its midst,” says Allard. “Until this mentality of protecting image over the safety of children at all costs goes away, real change cannot occur.”
USA Swimming is the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States. As a result, it is responsible for selecting and training teams for the Olympic Games.